Double Stone Steel Blog

We roam around the world mostly looking at and musing on sculpture, architecture and other fascinating, unusual and ambitious projects. We also take time to look at objects that feature in our everyday lives and comment on how they have taken their place in our homes and cityscapes. Naturally we have an affinity with metal so you will find that is a frequent theme but we also look at other intriguing installations that are made of other materials entirely.

The Castelar Building, Madrid, Spain – a glass lantern floating above the Paseo de la Castellana

The conviction of Rafael de La-Hoz Arderius and Gerardo Olivares to build a minimalist sculpture of steel, glass and travertine on an urban scale.

The story of how the Petersen Automotive Museum leapt into the 21st century with a futuristic steel exoskeleton design strongly influenced by car culture

Robin Fisher explores this building, located at the gateway of Los Angeles' famous Museum Row, extensively renovated through the work of Kohn Pedersen Fox and A.Zahner.

Richard Serra: Experiencing Steel and Architecture at Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum, Spain

Gracia Ramírez explains how Richard Serra´s Cor-ten steel sculptures revitalise the experience of the built environment through play with negative space and the counterbalancing of heavy-weight metal structures.

The process of anodization and its early applications in aviation through to modern day consumer electronics

Richard Storer-Adam explains how metals are altered through anodizing and the anti-corrosive benefits and coloring options this process provides to product manufacturers.

The gargantuan stainless steel memorial to the legendary Mongolian leader Genghis Khan

Richard Storer-Adam gives an overview of the imposing statue built to commemorate the famous warrior and observes how the process of Physical Vapor Deposition has been incorporated into the design.

The applications of Cor-Ten steel - from its beginnings in the US railroad industry to the worlds of art and architecture

Richard Storer-Adam runs through how this weathering steel alloy quickly moved beyond transport uses to give a distinct, rusted look to some iconic buildings and sculptures.

The US Steel Tower, a lasting beacon on the Pittsburgh skyline and legacy of Andrew Carnegie

Richard Storer-Adam reviews the design and construction of this 64-story skyscraper, built in the 1970’s with Cor-Ten steel, symbolising the triumph of the US Steel industry.

The Mini - an iconic car with a design that is recognised around the world.

Considered the second most influential car of the 20th Century just after the Ford Model T the Mini is a British Pop-culture icon.

The design story of the Seagram Building, 375 Park Avenue, New York City, built in 1957

Richard Storer-Adam reviews the background and architecture of this iconic modernist glass and bronze tower by German-American architect Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe and American associate architect Philip Cortelyou Johnson.

The story of Kem Weber (1889 – 1963), one of the proponents of Art Deco design and architecture in 1930s America

Richard Storer-Adam recounts the work of this influential industrial designer, famous for his work with Walt Disney Studios, through two of his favourite products created in the style of Streamline Moderne.

An examination of the design theory behind Seattle Central Library by OMA

Antonio Moll reviews the first work by the Dutch Office in the USA, 16 years after its opening, considering what is probably the most disrupting piece of architecture of the 21st Century.

The Flatiron Building (originally the Fuller Building), designed by Daniel H. Burnham and built in 1902

Richard Storer-Adam dwells on the genesis of NYC’s most iconic skyscraper and ‘quintessential symbol’ of Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA named after the Flatiron district.

The Inland Steel Building, an historical landmark on Chicago’s skyline in brushed stainless steel and glass

Richard Storer-Adam reviews the background and architecture of this iconic modernist glass and bronze tower by German-American architect Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe and American associate architect Philip Cortelyou Johnson.

Canopies And Agoras; The Cervantes Theatre by Anton García-Abril And Débora Mesa from Ensamble Estudio and the Neue Nationalgalerie by Mies Van Der Rohe as Spaces Of Reunion.

Antonio Moll reflects on the creation of covered public spaces and how new design tools have changed the aesthetics of contemporary steel canopies in the first quarter of the 21st century.

The 1920s Dymaxion House designed to be an innovative housing solution for American citizens by architect/inventor Richard Buckminster-Fuller

Robin Fisher tells the story of this futuristic, dynamic, all-terrain, all-weather home created from aluminium.

22 Bishopsgate – The process of designing and building a skyscraper using the foundations of a previous design.

The workplace of today, Antonio Moll explores the modern construction techniques and structural particularities of a high-rise office building with a concrete and steel skeleton.

The history and legacy of the ground-breaking Ingalls Building in Cincinnati

Richard Storer-Adam stumbles across a civil engineering landmark - the first skyscraper made from reinforced concrete in the United States.

An overview of three families of works by Catalan sculptor Jaume Plensa, b.1955

Antonio Moll reviews these pieces which, employing light, play with the representation of human heads and alphabetic letters and are created from steel, aluminium, wire mesh, glass and snow.

An overview of The Egg Theatre - a futuristic example of brutalist architecture

Richard Storer-Adam shares his opinions on this unique, windowless, concrete structure - home to the performing arts in Albany, state capital of New York.

22 Bishopsgate – The emerging of a vertical city for the 21st Century in the middle of the Square Mile

Antonio Moll tracks the evolution of high rise buildings in the City of London and how design trends have changed after the global economic crash.

Minoru Yamasaki’s polarizing design of Rainier Tower - a monument to the principles of New Formalism architecture

Richard Storer-Adam explores one of Seattle’s architectural landmarks, renowned for the curved, concrete, pedestal base on which it ‘precariously’ stands.

Nitrogen (N) - part of a series on gases used during the physical vapour deposition (PVD) process - an innovative method for improving the performance of stainless steel

Richard Storer-Adam investigates the paradoxical role nitrogen plays in both saving and destroying life as a critical element in the manufacture of explosives, agri-fertilisers and airbags.

Oxygen (O) - part of a series on gases used during the physical vapour deposition (PVD) process - an innovative method for improving the performance of stainless steel

Richard Storer-Adam explores the controversial discovery of oxygen, its importance to the human body and how it’s reactivity can be a vital component of metal manufacture.

How the simple industrial process of tube drawing allows for the production of precision quality pipe and tube

Richard Storer-Adam gives a brief history of two essential modern-day products - hypodermic needles and steel pipes - and the manufacturing technique that connects them.

Nickel (Ni) – part of a series on metals commonly alloyed with stainless steel to form varying grades of material.

Richard Storer-Adam looks into the origins of nickel, the part it plays in the composition of the planet and the industrial uses that make it a valuable metal alloy.

Chromium (Cr) – The discovery of chromium, its origins and wide-ranging industrial and aesthetic applications

Richard Storer-Adam continues a series on metals commonly alloyed with stainless steel to form varying grades of material.

Richard Storer-Adam is Managing Director of Double Stone Steel Ltd.

Titanium (Ti) – a brief history of the origins and commercial applications of titanium

Richard Storer-Adam begins a series on metals commonly alloyed with stainless steel to form varying grades of material.

A brief tutorial on the most luxurious stainless steel watches in the world

Richard Storer-Adam gives a brief tutorial on Rose and Rose Gold watches, watch straps, lugs and integrated wrist bands including the Rolex Glidelock system in 904L stainless steel.

The Acid Etching process on stainless steel and other metals.

An explanation of the truly ancient art of engraving, etching and intaglios on copper, mild steel, aluminium, brass and stainless steel by Richard Storer-Adam.

A journey to visit the The Sun Voyager sculpture by Jón Gunnar Árnason in Reykjavík, Iceland

Richard Storer-Adam takes us on a trip to visit, admire and understand this ethereal and haunting Viking sculpture in polished stainless steel.

An introduction to hard-anodised aluminium coatings, their advantages and environmental implications for architectural cladding

An analysis of the color and corrosion properties of aluminium cladding, its maintenance and waste products.

All that Glitters - a comparison between goldplating and gold PVD for jewellery

Richard Storer-Adam talks us through two different processes for creating the appearance of expensive, solid gold.

The history of case-hardening and its processes

Richard Storer-Adam gives the history of case hardening and describes the different processes of adding alloy to steel to create harder, sharper edges and surfaces.

Curtis Jere – the partnership between Curtis Freiler and Jerry Fels, creating art from a heavenly mix of metals

Richard Storer-Adam looks at some of the spectacular artworks and innovative techniques creating pieces which are still sought-after today as iconic mid-century modern art.

Why and how do we electroplate? The transformation of goods made from base metals into higher-value commodities using precious metals

Richard Storer-Adam talks us through the process and weighs up the the aesthetic benefits and environmental disadvantages of electroplating.

Stainless steel goes stellar - a discussion on stainless steel in space, space-travel, Mars, the Moon and metal.

Richard Storer-Adam muses on commercial space travel, Elon Musk’s stainless steel Starship and whether PVD colored stainless steel will be orbiting Earth anytime soon.

The story of gold and gold leaf – how was gold formed, its decorative value and the 5000- year old process of gilding.

Richard Storer-Adam rounds up some interesting facts about how this fascinating metal has been used throughout history to coat other materials.

A virtual tour of Oscar Niemeyer’s Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói, Brazil

An appreciative and honest critique of this dramatic architectural work - Lola Adeokun shares her experiences and feelings whilst visiting Niemeyer’s museum of art in Rio de Janeiro.

New Double Stone Steel PVD colored stainless steel fabrication unit in Wimbledon, London

John Desmond Ltd have recently set up a dedicated factory in Wimbledon to create Double Stone Steel PVD colored stainless steel. This is the first production-unit to color large-format stainless steel in the UK and colors sizes up to 3 metres by 1.7 metres.

A study of the major design influencer Jean Prouvé

Richard Storer-Adam gives an overview of the life of an iconic mid-century designer whose background as a blacksmith and empathy with metal fabrication played out in his work ranging from furniture, such as the famous Standard SP chair, to pre-fabricated buildings.

The Architect

A poem by Richard Storer-Adam on the agony of the late night designing process for an architect.

Outrageously successful. Peter Marino, the artist behind the architect

Carol Rutter looks at how art and sculpture are integrated into this controversial art and music-loving prolific designer’s interiors including his work for Christian Dior for whom he designs nearly all of their stores.

Alvaro’s Siza’s Swimming Pools – The Body in Motion Part Two

Ana Lopes Ramos continues on her guided tour sharing the surreal experience of the atmospheric “poetic modernist” architecture of Alvaro Siza’s swimming pools at Leça de Palmeira, Portugal.

The Avenues, Kuwait – An extravagant shopping mall and a lifestyle destination

Richard Storer-Adam takes us on a tour around the fourteenth largest shopping mall in the world, built in the middle of a desert with more than half a million visitors a week.

Alvaro Siza’s swimming pools – The Body in Motion Part One

Ana Lopes Ramos takes us to visit these intriguing 1960s sea-water swimming pools at Leça de Palmeira, Portugal designed by Alvaro Siza the famous Portuguese architect from the nearby town of Porto.

Wozoco Apartments by MVRDV Architecture – an original, inventive and colorful development in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Ana Lopes Ramos reviews the design of this apartment building which features cantilevered balconies with brightly colored acrylic balustrades creating a kaleidoscope effect.

Hermitage Gantois, Lille, France – from hospital to luxurious hotel

Robin Fisher traces the history and architecture of this fifteenth century hospital which has become a five-star hotel with a hallmark exterior of perforated aluminium cladding powder-coated to look like rusty steel.

The basics of Physical Vapour Deposition

Imagine creating colored stainless steel was a cooking process - Federico de Paoli gives an explanation of the PVD process involving titanium, thermal evaporation, sputtering and ion-plating using comparisons from everyday life.

Calatrava at the World Trade Center - A contemplative tour of the Transportation Hub built on the site of the World Trade Center which was attacked by terrorists 11th September 2001.

John Sadar walks us around this startling structure with its asymmetrical whale’s tail outline, describes the organic design and takes us into the cathedral-like Oculus, the centrepiece of the building.

The Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, California, home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra

This distinctive building is the result of a gift from the philanthropist, Lillian Disney, who survived her famous husband by 31 years. Richard Storer-Adam looks at the story behind the design, how Frank Gehry won the design competition from seventy entries, years before his Guggenheim Museum design and of course the remarkable stainless steel sails.

Looking at the sculptures of Beverly Pepper created in stainless steel, enamel and Cor-ten steel.

Richard Storer-Adam look at this original sculptor’s life and work in cutting, bending and shaping steel, stone and iron and selects some of his favourite pieces such as “Exodus” created in 1972 and formed from stainless steel.

The truly modern thinking and design work of the experimental designer Gilbert Rohde 1894 – 1944

Richard Storer-Adam reviews the life and design philosophy of this influential designer who explored and produced his work in the current-day modern materials such as stainless steel, chrome tube and Bakelite.

Made from Junk - A collation of modern sculptures, furniture and lighting made from recycled materials

Richard Storer-Adam examines the work of six, frequently controversial, artists who use unlikely and discarded materials for the basis of their work.

An affectionate review of the famous Anna Etoile Alessi designer corkscrew

Richard Storer-Adam looks at the work of the designer Alessandro Mendini, in particular the range of corkscrews which include those remarkable editions that are gold-plated, wearing agate earrings and costing $58,000.

The profound legacy of the influential architect Eero Saarinen

Richard Storer-Adam Looks at the formative years, inspirations and some of the highlights of Eero Saarinen’s career including the Des Moines Art Center and the famous TWA Terminal.

The wonder of a canopy - a selection of favourite structures from around the world

Richard Storer-Adam takes us on a visit to four of his favourite canopy structures both contemporary and historic, going back to the famous Parisian metro entrances designed by M. Hector Guimard.

Wilhelm Wagenfeld, a design legend - a review of the life and work of this influential designer

Richard Storer-Adam looks at the background of this influential designer including his time at the Bauhaus School and the pieces he produced including the famous WA24 table lamp, also known as the Bauhaus Lamp, which is still in manufacture today.

An “anatomic sociology” of Doors - a philosophical look at, and a practical review of, this architectural necessity

Federico de Paoli looks at doors from a unique perspective, their history and symbolic meaning and catalogues the different types of exterior and interior doors.

Federico de Paoli is an architect based in London, UK.

The Peace Bridge 2012, Memorial Drive, Calgary by Spanish architect and Structural Engineer Santiago Calatrava

Richard Storer-Adam critiques the remarkable Peace Bridge, designed by this controversial architect and constructed by Grahame Infrastructure Ltd, which spans the Bow River and has no piers or supports.

A stroll through the elegant, stainless steel double - helix Helix Bridge, Singapore by Cox Architecture and Architects 61

Richard Storer-Adam guides us through the construction concept and design details of this extraordinary sculptural bridge which was created in mock-up form in its entirety before being built on site.

The history of the Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, New York, United States

Richard Storer-Adam gives a history of this world-famous copper statue and its designers, including Gustave Eiffel (with a footnote on how it would not have gone green if it had been made from PVD colored stainless steel).

The history of the Gateway Arch, St Louis, also known as the St Louis Arch, designed by Eero Saarinen and completed in 1965

Richard Storer-Adam examines the key aspects and story behind this impressive landmark, the largest stainless steel building in the world, which is built in the form of a flattened catenary arch.

A review of two sculptures by Joana Vasconcelos, “Pavilion de Thé” in wrought-iron and “Marilyn” compiled of stainless steel saucepans and lids

Richard Storer-Adam gives us an in-depth look at two of the vivid and interpretive works of this modern sculptor working in quotidian metals and materials and how they comment on our lives today, especially those of women.

A history of the life and work of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, his design philosophy and his Barcelona chair designed in 1929

Richard Storer-Adam looks at the work of the man who became known simply as “Mies” with a focus on the iconic Barcelona chair, still made today with only one redesign in the fifties to incorporate the use of stainless steel.

A review of artist Robert Bruno’s sculptural Steel House, Lubbock, Texas

Richard Storer-Adam reviews the philosophy behind the organic steel sculpture built from weathering steel, nowadays known as corten steel, that has strikingly rusted both outside and inside, and that became a house over a period of 33 years.

The Chinese Imperial Water Dragon by Kevin Stone, sculptor in polished stainless steel

Richard Storer-Adam looks at the methodology of this Canadian fabricator and welder who became an artist creating gigantic metal sculptures cutting and grinding each of the hundreds of highly reflective components himself.

Stainless steel interior and exterior cladding

Richard Storer-Adam investigates the use of stainless steel as cladding used decoratively for interiors and exteriors of buildings, including the famous Frank Gehry New York skyscraper, with a focus on its durability, aesthetic qualities and technical performance.

A review of the work of Naum Gabo, sculptor of the famous and haunting Constructed Head no 2 in galvanised iron sheet

Richard Storer-Adam looks at the work of the Russian sculptor who coined the term Constructivism and created art works in the material that was the pre-runner of Corten steel.

Marcel Breuer – the architect who shifted the Bauhaus focus away from Arts and Crafts towards the more modern movement of Arts and Technology

Richard Storer-Adam looks at the Hungarian Bauhaus graduate and originator of tubular steel furniture and two of his most famous chairs – the Wassily chair and the Cesca chair.

The Delorean Motor Company and its only model, the DMC12, simply known as “The Delorean”

Richard Storer-Adam gives an overview, assessing whether this was a success story or a failure, of the doomed car company and iconic product with a shell of glass-fibre and brushed 304 stainless steel with gull-wing doors made famous in the film series "Back to the Future".

The amazing Eileen Gray Bibendum Chair

Richard Storer-Adam looks at this now timeless design classic from the 1920’s, its inspirational designer and how the Bibendum chair was the foundation for the Michelin Man cartoon for the French tyre company.

My favourite modernist steel door handles and their designers including the Tecnoline and Lubetkin models

Richard Storer-Adam curates a timeless selection from Bauhaus designers Walter Gropius, Wilhelm Wagenfield and Max Burchartz.

The three essential elements of lasting “Feel-Good Design” – Usability, Utility and Desirability

Richard Storer-Adam examines the core characteristics of great design using the examples of the Philippe Starck lemon squeezer, the 1962 Vespa GS 160 scooter and the Apple store, Istanbul Turkey

The rise and fall in popularity of the copper alloys, brass and bronze, in art and architecture from 3500 BC to the twentieth century

Richard Storer-Adam looks at these wonder metals, both alloys of copper and tin, that last the ages and how they compare to each other in practical and artistic use.

Black: A truly luxurious and artistic color for art, furniture and accessories for thousands of years

We look at how this primal color denotes status, high-value black products such as ebony, obsidian and granite and how black is used today for luxury products such as the Piaget Altiplano Skeleton black PVD watch.

Koons’ Balloon Dog Orange – sculpture created in high-chromium stainless steel

Looking at Jeff Koons striking and unforgettable sculptures based on popular culture and released as part of his “Celebration” series 1993.

Cloud Gate - a polished stainless steel sculpture inspired by a drop of mercury taking centre stage in the city

Richard-Storer Adam takes us on a visit to marvel at British artist Anish Kapoor’s mesmerising bean- shaped mirrored stainless steel installation in the AT&T Plaza, Millennium Park in Chicago, Illinois.

Gates and balconies by the three famous Austrian Gahrs brothers

Gates and balconies created as works of art and sculptural installations in welded stainless steel and Cor-ten.

House 77, Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal by dIONISIO Lab, 2010

Looking at the symbolically laser-cut stainless steel cladding which operates as shutters, a decorative building skin and a sculptural element for this contemporary house.

The Atomium 1958, Brussels , Avenue de l'Atomium, 1020 Bruxelles, Belgium, 102 meters by André Waterkeyn. Engineering consultants Beckers, Joukoff and Daniel, Architects A. and J. Polak

Richard Storer-Adam examines the background of this sculpture, by Belgian engineer, André Waterkeyn, based on the form of an iron crystal magnified 160 billion times.

Metropol Parasol, part of the redevelopment of Plaza de la Encarnacion, Seville, Spain

We take a visit to this triumphant installation created from glued Kerto-Q LVL timber material arranged to an orthogonal grid and rising to 28 metres in height.